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Washington Parks Face Financial ‘Crossroads’

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November 6, 2012 by   Leave a Comment

As revenues continue to fall short of projections, state parks leaders are sending a message to Washington lawmakers: We can’t do it alone.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission plans to seek $27 million in general fund money for the upcoming 2013-15 biennium. Parks officials say that amount would keep afloat an agency battered by budget cuts in recent years. It would also add stability to a department betting big on Discover Pass user fees, which haven’t yet settled into a predictable revenue stream, The Columbian, Vancouver, reported.

That $27 million is a request, not a guarantee. Legislators have previously said state parks may get no general fund money in 2013-15. But that’s simply not an option if state parks are to remain a viable program, according to a department report released earlier this year. The state commission reiterated that stance during a meeting in Vancouver last week.

“We’re really at a crossroads,” said state parks spokeswoman Virginia Painter.

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